AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program absorbs former PlusTime NH AmeriCorp volunteers

For more information, including how to apply to be an AVAP member, visit the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program website www.avap1.org.

February 11, 2011- Concord, NH—Twenty-eight AmeriCorps members whose service was suddenly suspended over a month ago were able to get back to work today. In December PlusTime NH unexpectedly closed its doors, leaving the AmeriCorps members without a host agency. These members will now be absorbed into the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program (AVAP). AVAP is a program affiliated with Volunteer NH! and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The former PlusTime NH AmeriCorps members serve approximately 10,000 children and youth (unduplicated) with educational, enrichment and mentoring opportunities in sixteen afterschool programs, focusing primarily on low-income, at-risk and underserved children.  The former PlusTime AmeriCorps members were vital in implementing grants for these organizations including offering out of school credit toward graduation, healthy eating programs and global learning initiatives.  In the last three months of 2010, the AmeriCorps members engaged 3,156 children in service-learning projects and recruited and supported 1,858 volunteers to support the after school programs, among other services.

The Corporation for National and Community Service which provides funds for AmeriCorps programs through Volunteer NH! worked diligently with all the parties to find a solution for the members and their sites which depend heavily on the full time volunteers.  The PlusTime VISTA (Volunteers in Service to AmeriCorps) members were transferred to the Families in Transition VISTA project in January, but the AmeriCorps members’ situation was more challenging to resolve.

Ultimately, the Mott Foundation, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and the Endowment for Health helped provide the missing funds needed to make the absorption of the members possible at AVAP

“We cannot express how grateful we are to these foundations for coming to our aid in this unexpected crisis so that these dedicated volunteers can finish their year of service to their country and our state,” said Shireen Tilley, State Program Director for the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Likewise, we so appreciate the kindness and effort shown by Meg Kennedy Dugan at AVAP, and everyone at Volunteer NH! who worked so hard to help us find a solution.  We know it was challenging for AVAP to take on this additional responsibility midway through their grant year.”

Volunteer NH! Board Chair Lisa Michaud, expressed her relief for the members and sites, “These volunteers were so committed to helping their sites and the children at these programs, that they stayed on hoping we’d find a way for them to finish their service.  Their commitment was truly inspiring.  We were determined to find a way to make this happen, and we are so relieved and thankful to all the foundations and everyone who worked day and night for a month to make this happen,” she said.

AmeriCorps members volunteer across the country in nonprofit organizations and in public entities to address critical community needs serving 1,700 hours for which they receive an educational award of $5,350.  They also receive a minimal living allowance and health care while they serve.  AVAP runs an AmeriCorps team of 31 members to address issues and support victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking.
The new AVAP team will consist of 28 former PlusTime NH members, plus 31 AVAP members.

After school AmeriCorps sites -

1. Alliance for the Visual Arts: Lebanon
2. Seymour Osman Community Center: Dover
3. Many Options: Keene
4. Families in Transition: Manchester
5. ACCESS: Gilsum, Troy, Winchester, Hindsdale
6. Acting Out: Keene
7. Life Bridge: Wolfeboro
8. Somersworth Youth Connection: Somersworth
9. Rochester Youth Safe Haven: Rochester
10. Farmington and Middleton Extended Education (FAMEE): Farmington
11. Woman to Woman Coalition: Manchester
12. Nashua Boys & Girls Club: Nashua
13. Claremont Family School Connection: Claremont
14. Epping Recreation:  Epping
15. Bring It: Manchester
16. Prescott Farms: Laconia

About the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program (AVAP) – AVAP is a program affiliated with Volunteer NH! and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. For more information on the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program visit www.avap1.org.

About the Coalition: NHCADSV is a statewide network of 14 independent member programs committed to ending sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking, through direct services to victims, community education, and public policy advocacy. The NHCADSV and its 14 member programs do not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental, or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation. For more information visit www.nhcadsv.org

The Corporation for National and Community is the federal agency which funds national service programs such as AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program, among others.  Funding for New Hampshire AmeriCorps programs are provided to Volunteer NH which annual holds competitions for organizations wanting an AmeriCorps team.  More information on AmeriCorps and the Corporation can be found at http://www.nationalservice.gov/

Volunteer NH! supports and sponsors national service initiatives and provides training, recognition, and a central site for volunteers and volunteer programs to help them strengthen their communities.  Volunteer NH oversees AmeriCorps programs in the state, conducts the Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism and the Spirit of NH Volunteerism Awards, and other volunteer recognition activities.  More information on Volunteer NH can be found at www.volunteernh.org.


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